While I know how heavenly it feels to simply lay on the couch, change postures, watch Netflix all day long while eating snacks, and holding your pee to prolong that feeling of being on cloud seven, soon it’s all gonna come crashing down if you don’t stop being lazy and take your life more seriously.
Laziness has become one hell of a guilty pleasure for so many of us, it’s almost alarming.
Not waking up early in the morning because the quilt is insanely comfy, not going to the gym because Breaking Bad has kept you glued to the screens, not working because you feel uninspired to move your mental muscles and things like these are all the outcomes of laziness.
It’s about time you stop being lazy before it gets too late.
What Causes Laziness?
Ever wondered, what really is the cause of laziness? What is it that makes one behave like a sleepy, unmotivated, dull, and lost creature?
Do you feel lazy if you have to go attend your favorite artist’s show? Do you feel laziness overpowering you when you have a nice get-together with your childhood friends? Does laziness get in the way of you playing your favorite video game or updating your Instagram stories?
The answer to all those questions is gonna be a big fat bowl of ‘No’. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. It’s very likely that you’d be all pumped up and excited about those activities. You don’t care whether you are hungry or tired or whatever, you can always find some magical motivation to do those kinds of tasks.
Interesting, right? So, what’s happening here?
To put it in one word: INTEREST. The whole game of laziness revolves around your interest. You don’t get lazy when you are doing something you are genuinely interested in.
One only gets sluggish and feels the need to overcome laziness when he wants to do something he is not interested in. In those cases, there is an ensuing battle going on between your intelligence and your mind(your petty desires)—your intelligence tells you to work, but your mind tells you to just lay down—where the mind mostly wins. And since the mind wins, you become a victim of laziness.
So, instead of trying to win this battle, why not avoid the battle in the first place by making your day interesting and refreshing, and new. This is essentially a never-ending process, a way of life to be precise. It involves exploring new dimensions of yourself, discovering new passions, recognizing new potentials, forming new habits, and never letting the old and dull hinder your energy.
Stop Delegating the Responsibility of Your Life
As long as you are dependent on someone or something else to make your life interesting, then that’s a major red flag and it’s pretty likely that you are gonna become lazy.
Come out of this illusion that somebody else will make your life fun and exciting and thrilling. The faster you stop delegating the responsibility of your life to others, the faster you will be able to overcome laziness by controlling your life the way you seem fit.
So, stop handing over your life’s controller to someone else, and take charge.
Too Much Entertainment is Injurious for your Health
Modern technology today has played a big role in making us lazy. Instead of going to the libraries, we have Google to search whatever we want; in place of strolling through the market streets, we have Amazon to buy whatever we need; instead of doing the household chores physically, there literally is a piece of technology to do anything and everything, from washing our clothes and dishes to cleaning the house itself.
Likewise, the entertainment industry has leaped so far ahead in its capability to take control of our minds and make us mentally lazy. You don’t have to do any mental work while watching a movie or news or random cat videos. As long as you are consuming content instead of producing it, you are gonna become vulnerable to become mentally lazy.
Writing an article takes more energy than reading it, shooting a film is more laborious and demanding than simply watching it on your couch, producing a song is a lot more diligent task than simply putting on your earphones and listening to it, creating content is a lot more sophisticated and thought-provoking than consuming it.
Figure out a way to balance the two.
Stay Active on Every Level to Stop Being Lazy
There simply is no shortcut to this. You gotta remain physically active. You have to be mentally active as well.
We all know what physical activity implies, and being mentally active simply intends being able to solve your problems actively, and that too effortlessly. It implies coming up with win-win solutions in life. If you can train your mind like this and make it a habit, then your mind will remain active and will be competent enough to figure out even the biggest problems in one’s life.
The challenges you face, the hardships you are going through, the failures you had—these are your real friends who are gonna help you beat laziness and become the best version of yourself. And your addiction to all kinds of entertainment is actually your enemy which is gonna make you hollow from the inside.
Know the difference. We all have been conditioned right from the beginning to misconstrue them. We consider our enemies as our friends and our true friends as our enemies. This conditioning needs to be pulled down. You have to go against your default settings to be actually able to come out of the trap of being lazy.
Symptoms VS Causes
Earlier we discussed laziness connected to boredom, as in, if you are not interested in something or get bored after a certain time period then you become lazy and drop the whole thing. Now, the thing to note here is that maybe boredom isn’t the cause of laziness but just a symptom of it. You are not getting lazy because you are bored, maybe you are bored because you are lazy.
If you need a ton of external stimuli to do your work or anything for that matter, then that means you are working on your symptoms which is just a temporary solution. The more important and crucial part to ponder upon is why do you get lazy in the first place? Why are you not jumping all over to do the work that you know is good for you in the long run? Why do you need to stimulate yourself externally to get you moving?
Ideally, the situation should be like even if the whole world stands against you, you are going ahead full throttle. That means reaching a state where both the positive or the negative doesn’t affect you. Now, you will automatically stop being lazy. But the only question is how can we achieve this state?
To understand this, we gotta dive into the deep waters of the fundamentals of how one’s brain works.
The Gameplay of Mind
If you think about it, your mind inherently seeks pleasure and detests any kind of pain, both physical and mental. This goes back to the time when we were hunters and gatherers. At that time, it made sense for them to simply run after instant gratification as the living conditions weren’t that stable and secure. So, getting all that they can get their hands on, in the shortest of time was the smart move, but not now.
Now’s not the time to chase instant gratification and lose the long-term goal. Nobody wants the pain that comes before the gain. Everybody is simply interested in the reward and not the punishment, which is the paramount reason for being lazy.
Seeking pleasure without doing the work it takes is a fool’s errand. Such kind of pleasure will never leave you fulfilled and satisfied, on the contrary, it will always keep you wanting for more. It will make you hollow from the inside and you will never be able to live in the present moment.
Instant Gratification VS Delayed Gratification
I totally understand that watching Suits with your partner or scrolling through the Instagram feed or eating pizza gives us ensured pleasure. There is little to almost no possibility of them ever disappointing you. And thus they are named instant gratification.
But when it comes to working hard for your purpose, or working out to get those abs, or eating healthily to look fit; these activities take an awful lot of time with no guarantee that they would be pleasurable at the end of the journey. And hence, they are delayed (maybe) gratification.
As a result, naturally, your mind fancies the former. Even though you might have chosen those big-ass dreams and visionary world-changing purposes, you still get entangled in those petty and trivial pleasures, giving in to laziness. And the reason is that you don’t dream the right way.
Dream the Right Way
Most of us dream at a very superficial or unrealistic level. Simply thinking about something and giving your imagination a run for your money isn’t enough.
The more realistic, accurate, and clear your dream is in your mind, the more positive sensations it will emit in your mind. And when it does happen, you will automatically stop being lazy. Elon Musk can very well see humanity settling on mars and becoming interplanetary, which is what’s giving him the biggest kick of his life and that’s precisely why he keeps going forward irrespective of the challenges.
The more you see your dream transforming into a reality in your headspace, the less likely you are to be distracted. Because you simply won’t be able to stop gushing about it all the time. But as of now, your dreams are dreams just for namesake or simply too far-fetched for you to ever see it becoming a reality.
And as a result, your brain doesn’t really respond well to them. That’s why you find more pleasure in doing meaningless shit all day long because your dream isn’t what it’s supposed to be. So, dreaming the right way can go a long way in helping you stop being lazy and getting down to action.
How vividly can you see yourself becoming healthy? How clearly do you see your business reaching new heights? Can you strongly see yourself waking up in the morning every day to go for a jog or something? You gotta tweak your dream in some way or the other to make it more reachable and grabbable.
Have Some Self Respect
People who have some self-respect will never be lazy. They are not the kind of people who disrespect themselves by getting or wanting anything for free. These kinds of people simply believe in getting whatever they get from their own hard work, dedication, and passion.
Being dependent on someone else financially or emotionally isn’t their cup of tea, which is why they won’t have time to sit idle and waste it away. Instead, they will utilize their time to make themselves better in all aspects of life, every waking second of it.
So, when you refuse to accept any kind of freebies in life, then obviously your mind will be fixated on making yourself able to achieve whatever you want to. You will get too lazy to be lazy in the first place.
The Secret to Not Being Lazy
If you can mold yourself this way, then the thought of not working towards your goal will be more fatal than actually working, the thought of not taking good care of your body will be more excruciating than being physically active, the thought of not studying will be more painful than actually studying. And since the mind wants to avoid pain at all costs, laziness will go out the window, as you have trained your mind in such a way that the pain that comes with ‘doing’ is less than the pain that comes with ‘not doing’.
Basically, your thoughts are making sure you are not lazy by intimidating you with the ramifications of what will happen if you don’t do the things you should be doing. You don’t have to have a big ass plan to stop being lazy. Simply acting on the smallest level that’s feasible is far better than pondering all day polishing your rather perfect plan that you never take any action on.
Overcome Physical Laziness
So, till now it was all about how you can stop being lazy at the level of your mind. In this section, let’s look at some of the ways through which we can address physical laziness.
#1 Move your Body
As cliche and outdated as it might seem, there is no getting around to this advice. You gotta exercise in some way or the other. Our bodies weren’t meant to sit around all day gossiping about political or celebrity gossips.
It’s about time you actually stop pretending to know on a superficial level that exercising is good for you and actually get down to moving your body for real. When you exercise adequately, you sleep well, and when you sleep well, you wake up fresh and filled with energy, giving you a positive boost for the next day.
But, when you squander your time on sedentary lifestyles, you simply can’t expect to remain active throughout the day. I can go on all day, listing the innumerable benefits of working out, but you are not kids anymore, and there is no shortage of information out there. What’s lacking is your own initiative to take action.
#2 Diet is Paramount
You can exercise all you want, but if you are not putting in the right ingredients in your body, then it’d all be for nothing. Some tips are:
- Stay Hydrated throughout the day.
- Eat fruit when you wake up to boost your metabolism(or any one of the hundred and twelve other things that you can do to improve your morning).
- Keep away from processed/packaged food and sugars.
- Chew Slowly while eating and focus only on eating while eating.
While I am no expert in diet or nutrition, those were some general tips that you can follow in your day-to-day regime.
#3 Cut Down your Screen Time
Be honest and ask yourself how much time you spend in front of those glittery screens? You are already aware of the side effects of prolonged usage of these modern devices and you are probably witnessing them as well.
All those strained backs, red eyes, paining neck, clogged joints, irregular headaches are a result of holding your body in weird positions for too long.
Try staying away from any kind of electronic device for a day or two and then see the difference in your energy levels. You’d stop being lazy automatically and instead would put that energy into more prudent and efficient activities.
If you are someone who is unable to get rid of your smartphone addiction, then you can read my article on the same, here.
#4 Keep your Surroundings clean
You can’t possibly expect to stay fresh and exuberate positive vibes if your surroundings are shabby and dingy. “Darkroom, messy clothes lying all over your bed, your table all cluttered with useless equipment, empty used beer bottles rolling all over your mats, dishes lying in the sink dirty, and the whole house is just a mess”. That’s the condition of so many of us.
So, obviously, laziness will get the better of you in such an environment. The more you keep your surroundings spick and span, the better off you are gonna be in getting your laziness to back off.
#5 Set Realistic Goals
Always strive to set realistic goals if you wanna stop being lazy. If you set too ambitious goals, you’d probably fail and give up on the whole thing, becoming lazy ultimately. If you don’t set any goals, you are gonna waste a lot of energy doing any random activity that may or may not be beneficial for you.
That’s why, take the middle ground, set realistic and pursuable goals and give in your everything to achieve them. Set a deadline and define what it is you wanna achieve in 2 days or 5 days or whatever time period you seem fit. This will eliminate any useless ruckus in the mind so that it can concentrate all its energies on a single point and help you overcome laziness and get you moving.
#6 Plan your Days
This point kinda complements the previous point. When you start off your day, it will always be a good move to plan out your day as to what exactly are you gonna do. Doing this will help keep your mind distraction free, you will feel more energetic as you won’t have any energy left to waste it in doing meaningless and futile things.
And when you save that energy by planning your day out, you will naturally be able to stop being lazy and develop a laser sharp focus that will last throughout the day.
The more you keep yourself occupied in doing meaningful and productive tasks throughout the day, the less power laziness will have over you. But the more clueless and directionless and aimless you wander around, the lazier you will become.
And even if you don’t have anything to do, then instead of letting your mind operate on autopilot, simply be aware of your surroundings and observe what’s happening, both outside and inside you. Simply acknowledging all there is, is one hell of a skill to acquire.
If you know exactly what you want in life, then no matter how hard situations get, you will remain free from the grip of Laziness.